China stockpiles bird flu vax for possible outbreak

Amid concerns of a possible human bird flu outbreak, China's Food and Drug Administration announced that the state has already begun building stockpiles of the human bird flu vaccine Panflu as a precaution. Eight cases of human bird flu have been reported since December, of which there were five fatalities. Panflu, produced by Beijing-based Sinovac Biotech, is designed to protect adults aged 18 to 60 years against the H5N1 virus.

"In consideration of the serious situation, we've adopted a new measure of simultaneous inspections of the vaccine. That is, the administration and the company check the products at the same time, for efficiency, thus they can be immediately brought into use if outbreaks erupt," Yan said.

Although dead birds infected with the H5N1 virus have washed ashore in Hong Kong, the government has not publicly announced any outbreaks among birds nor reported any bird flu infections to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization. China View is reporting that Ministry of Health officials have said that they found no mutation that could cause human to human infection among the latest individuals infected with the virus.

- read the Business Week article
- check out the China View articles here and here 
- view the Taipei Times piece